The 10 Free & Paid Shopping Carts for Online Stores

Posted by on January 17, 2011 in Business Start Up Advice [ 1 Comment ]

ecommerce-shopping-cartAll online stores need a shopping cart in order to sell their products. Problem is, there are so many out there which one is the best? Below are five  free carts and five paid carts to help you choose the one that suits your budget and your site.

  1. 2CheckOut E-Commerce 2CheckOut E-Commerce is an entry level shopping cart available for online stores that does not require any application fees or monthly maintenance fees. It includes more than a dozen features such as no maximum or minimum sales limits, low account setup fee, low transaction fees, free direct deposit, free check payment processing, free shopping cart, no equipment or software requirements and the ability to sell any type of product including software over the Internet.
  2. PayPal PayPal is the traditional starter shopping cart and payment processor. E-commerce accounts can be setup at no charge and the service allows online stores to receive payments using any method their customers prefer. They allow for the sales of hard goods and have limited capabilities to allow sales of software over the Internet. There are no setup fees and no monthly maintenance fees associated with PayPal’s services.
  3. CubeCart CubeCart is a free shopping cart option for online stores that allows order and payment processing, and is a very popular shopping cart option. The only requirement to use the v.3 version of the software is leaving the copyright notice in the footer of the webpage. V.4 is a pay shopping cart, but is not necessary to purchase in order to use the payment and shipping gateways included with v.3.
  4. PrestaShop PrestaShop is a professional grade shopping cart that is free for e-commerce customers to use. It can be downloaded, installed and used to process orders for shipment and payments for products at no charge to the online store. There is a back end system included with the software that allows inventory tracking, order shipping and customer management in a real time environment.
  5. Zen Cart Zen Cart is a very user friendly shopping cart interface that is directly designed to be easy to download and install into any online store. Zen Cart developers have completely focused on the merchants and their customers who use the software and allows for multiple payment and shipping options for orders.

Paid Shopping Carts

  1. BigCommerce BigCommerce offers merchants a tiered pricing structure depending on how many products they have to offer and how much information storage they require. The five structures include Bronze, which allows 100 products and 200 MB of image storage, Silver, which allows 500 products and 300 MB of image storage and Gold, which allows 1000 products and 500 MB of image storage. The Diamond and Platinum plans allow for unlimited products and either 1 GB and 3 GB of image storage. Prices range from $24.95 per month to $299.95 per month, all with a $49.95 setup fee.
  2. Shopify Shopify is another tiered shopping cart service available for online stores that includes five different levels of service. The Basic service allows 100 products and 100 MB of image storage, the Professional service allows 2,500 products and 500 MB of image storage and the Business service allows 10,000 products and 1000 MB of storage. The Enterprise and Premier services allows for 25,000 products with 2.5 GB of storage and 50,000 products with 5 GB of storage. Pricing ranges from $29.00 per month and $699.00 per month with no setup fees and a 30 day free trial.
  3. Volusion Volution offers a similar five tier pricing structure with the main differences between bandwidth of the shopping cart, as opposed to image storage capability. The tiers includes Steel, with allows 25 products, Bronze, which allows 250 products, Silver, which allows 1000 products, Gold, which allows 5000 products and Platinum, which allows an unlimited number of products. The bandwidth capabilities, depending on the tier, range from 1 GB to 25 GB with the Platinum service plan. Pricing ranges from $29.00 per month to $179.00 per month with no setup fee and a 14 day free trial period.
  4. CoreCommerce CoreCommerce offers a total of six pricing tiers, including a limited free version that is allowed for use during the trial period. The free trial version allows 20 products with 50 MB of storage, the Starter package allows 250 products with 250 MB of storage, the Basic package allows 500 products with 325 MB of storage and the Standard package allows 1,500 products with 500 MB of storage. The Pro and Platinum packages allows for 5,000 products with 1 GB of storage and an unlimited amount of products with 2 GB of storage. Pricing ranges between $19.99 per month and $129.99 per month with no setup fees and a 15 day free trial that does not require credit card information.
  5. Highwire Highwire structure their pricing plans a bit different from the other hosted shopping carts, they allow for a Developer level of plan that only allows 10 products and does not support SSL when customers use the checkout feature. The Basic plan allows 50 products with 10 MB of storage, the Professional plan allows 500 products with 5 GB of storage and the Premier plan allows unlimited products with 10 GB of storage. Highwire’s price range is between $6.95 per month and $49.95 per month to $49.95 per month with no setup fee and the option of a 14-day free trial.

All of the pay-for shopping cart options provides similar back end capabilities, with secure checkout, product shipping and payment options and inventory tracking. The major differences are going to be in the pricing structures and will depend on how many products and product images are necessary to setup the cart for a particular online store.

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This post was contributed by David Boyd from, a top financial website offering impartial reviews of high interest saving accounts. David also writes about property, personal finances and travel on the Money Hacker blog.

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